Why Wind Power Ships May Be The Future of Transportation

Why Wind Power Ships May Be The Future of Transportation. Get Air Health’s Skye for your home today! bit.ly/air-health. Shipping currently accounts for almost 3% of global carbon emissions. In order to hit global net-zero targets by 2050 solutions like biofuel, green hydrogen and blue hydrogen, as well as ammonia have been held up as alternatives to fossil fuels to be used in ships. But what if we could go back to the early stages of shipping, where the wind was used for sailing, but using current and upcoming technology? Could a wind power ship blow past biofuels and hydrogen as the best pathway to decarbonize shipping?

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Comment (871)

  1. We often thing big to harness kinetic energies out of innate storages. But what are we really doing to obtain what is essentially controlled release of radiation out of breaking down macro structures to catch the ripples of the breaking bonds? This is not the future harnessing of a renewable energy. We don't really want renewable, we want emerging energy of the background radiation present at all times in all places. What we want is quaternion energy utilization. There is a resonate frequency of all atomic/subatomic structures in motion. Electromagnetic FIELDS are in motion. As above, so below. We need to harness the vibrational electromagnetic emissions that are driven by the very fabric of reality just as all sustained material formations are. Funnel convergence permeation by crystalized resonant atomic structures can output unfathomable volumes of power beyond the observation limits of most modern sensor equipment. The efficiency of utility is not the volume of area the structure takes up, but the internal fidelity level of resonant wavelength step-up merger layers by the internalized molecular surface area.

  2. WOW, this has totally NEVER been used before and proven to be much less reliable than gas and electric driven ships. The future is now.

    I cant believe we as a species are dumb enough to just re-label old technology. if anything a stirling engine would work better.

  3. Your time line for steam and motor driven ships is pretty messed up. Also the assertion that clippers were faster than current freighters is false, unless you are only looking at large tankers and similar vessels, and then the comparison is between a few hundred toms of clipper cargo vs high tens or hundreds of thousands of tons. Even then the speeds of clippers are best cases, while motor ships reliably deliver the same speeds all the time.

  4. Using wind power seems like a no-brainer. I wonder why some ships don't try regular old traditional sails. Seems like they would be well suited for tankers, particularly tankers on routes with no bridges overhead. All the cables would be motorized so you wouldn't need a crew like in the olden days. Seems like it could work reasonably well. But any boost in fuel efficiency when you're dealing with that kind of bulk usage will be good for everyone.

  5. I know this is not going to be popular but the answer today is nuclear. It's a proven method of powering big ships cleanly. I know that there's a debate on what to do with the spent fuel rods but that won't matter if we don't get a handle on climate change soon.

  6. The big problem with wind is intermittency at sea level. That’s why wind turbines keep getting taller – to take advantage of more consistent wind speeds at higher altitude.And also why most of these solutions look at just improving efficiency. So what is really needed is biofuels or green ammonia and methanol propulsion systems. I think green hydrogen is just a pipe dream. Biofuels still emit carbon dioxide – supposedly carbon neutral, but remember much of that carbon is sequestered naturally, green ammonia and methanol, like hydrogen are going to be very expensive to manufacture. But remember, even natural gas would be better than fuel oil which is only used because it is cheap. You could cut shipping emissions just be using natural gas, and cut the dirty noxious emissions to zero. But your imported goods are going to cost more.

  7. yes all of that made of steel, plastic etc ect like solar panel relying on mining and chemical factories and wind turbine using concrete steel etc etc it all looks like bullpoo to make people believe that actually something can change. all of it can't be fast enough

  8. Hi Matt, Another great video. May I make a suggestion? Don't add any background music to your videos. I (we) tune in for your fantastic presentations, not to listen to music. The music is distracting, I'm trying to concentrate on what you are explaining. Save yourself some production effort and ditch the background music. For example, E for Electric and Just Have A Think don't use background music and their presentations are much easier to listen to and enjoy. You and Joe Scott have this thing for background music. ??? Give it a try. 🙂

  9. You allready said it, progress is made very slowly and most carbon dioxyd saving methods are in pilot or early usage stage. So in some years we'll see advanced and cheaper technic. One problem (same for airplanes) is the long runtime of these ships. They often run for 20-30 years. This means progress for "greener" cargo transport is only made in small steps and these ships become technological outdatet after maybe 5 years.

  10. Ok, great on the 20-ish percent fuel savings, buuuut how much less cargo could the ships carry as a result? Because if they carried 20% less cargo then you have a net loss both in terms of money AND in terms of reducing carbon footprint..

  11. The “future” of sailing… using wind power. Brand new discovery 😂 never before discovered wind. Instead of big window curtains to catch , what scientists and experts studying this phenomena call gusts. The developed technology now allows humans to control the very medium we can’t see. Truly revolutionary and never in the history of mankind could such a futuristic accomplishment be undertaken or created. Imagine what these bright minds will develop next. Talks are revolving around a thing called a “sterling engine” tune in next week for all the details.

    This has been a honor thanks for reading

  12. how about, do it oldschool, with sailing ships, and then when theres no wind, use methane gas generated from the ships holding tank as fuel to propel the ship without wind

  13. I’ve met a few times the CEO of Norsepower, he’s a really cool and smart guy! Definitely a lot of potential in the maritime industry. Long time lurker, now subbed! Greetings from 🇫🇮

  14. while this is a sound idea, it's still just another hi-tec stopgap, like ev's. the world – especially the west – needs to stop its mass overconsumption. that would adress the problem of shipping emissions (and plenty of others) at the source.

  15. I find it hilarious why so many resources go into making airplanes and shipping greener, but no one cares about other bigger polluters like concrete, steel production, cattle and meat products.

    It's good to work on these, but if you don't address the bigger ones we'll get nowhere. Road vehicles and energy production are imo on-track.

  16. Traditional sails are also airfoils. Your description of wing sails didn't really explain how they are different. All the things you said about lift, drag, and thrust can also be said of traditional sails

  17. 2:20 speed is not in knots per hour
    1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour = 1 arc minute along a meridian per hour = 1.944 meters/sec
    Cousteau, the oceangrapher used a ship with Flettner rotors, called Calypso.

  18. A good start would be to limit global shipping as a whole. Their are some crazy transportion of cargo/lifestock happening. A combination of less boots and more wind or solar energie features used sounds like a solution to me.

  19. As the freight cargoes pile up, it blocks the rotors from receiving wind. If you build rotors on the sides, you have to build on both so that the ship is balanced. But again, it reduces cargo space.

  20. Net Zero is, frankly, a fantasy. The power density of fossil fuels is vastly superior to even the best battery technology. There's a reason they're still in use….

    We need a breakthrough battery technology, or commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell systems and a clean, scalable way of producing said hydrogen.

    If no breakthrough technologies are discovered, I have no faith that net zero is achievable.

  21. The US Navy has been using green energy for decade over half a century very successfully on some of their vessels. 166 nuclear power plants operating in one if the harshest environments on the planet months at a time. Doesn't produce an ounce of carbon emissions.

  22. There are some promising biological sources of ammonia.

    Ships also have the flexibility to carry vast yet crude batteries. Maybe even a saltwater battery using iron, carbon, zinc, etc.

    It would be cool if molten salt breeder reactors running on nuclear waste, thorium, etc. worked out. Ships are pretty ideal applications for small nukes if nukes could be green because of molten salt liquid core reactors with in situ reprocessing. Currently kind of a pipe dream though.

    If going with sails, some experiments have been made with parasails. Like, big guided parasails. That could solve the "where to mount the sails" problem- just basically turn a massive cargo ship into a massive windsurfing board.

  23. There’s a ton of other techniques besides wind energy to reduce fuel usage. Like auto adjustable rotor blades. Maybe check out the papers from maritime research institute from the Netherlands (MARIN). There’s probally some researcher who’s willing to help you with information about ongoing techniques.

  24. Wind power is the way to go for shipping as it has been in the 1800 century’s. But we will need big change in the economy in order to go this way. First sadly all the fossil fuel will have to be burned, then, with the climate change, the human population will collapse to a more sustainable level Then it will become obvious that consuming goods from the other side of the planet will be unrealistic with no fuel. The wind power will become the only way to power ships. In the mean time unless the fuel cost skyrocket and make those technology payback in a year or so, it will stay in the ´exotic’ side of the shipping industry. When only wind turbine, solar panels and maybe nuclear will be the only source of energy, human will stop wasting energy like they do at the moment. Thermal engines are only 50% thermal efficient at the most. This means that a 10MW engine waste 10MW of heat into the atmosphere to run.

  25. Ad at the beginning, over a minutes worth of ad in the middle, more at the end. Immediate thumbs down. I got an ad blocker for a good reason, you "content creators" basically bending over for advertisers because we all got blockers, need to be hung, drawn and quartered.

  26. Sadly the economies of scale are currently winning, ships are getting too big for the Suez canal. Bigger than the Evergreen! Which was on the limit for Suez. And look what happened when the wind blew!
    Wind powered ships will alter the equations for economies of scale, their cargoes will be smaller, for container ships anyway.

  27. Nice plug for the "Evergreen." Why don't we just make Nuclear Powered large scale cargo shipping? Quick and easy to get into production and instantly no fossil fuels. This wound buy humanity time to develop other technology. Why bite our nose off to spite our face and ignore Nuclear out of principle????

  28. Undecided if man made climate change is real or not. So I'm not ready to explore any carbon reducing technologies driven by that premise. Trying to become energy independent is motive enough.

  29. Couple of points. Firstly, wind powered ships need a large auxiliary engine to minimize delay risk. Second, unless mandated, payback of 2 or 3 years is needed to ensure widespread uptake. On a brighter note, it might also be worth contemplating brine redox flow batteries and electric propulsion for marine use. One of the 2 liquids would be the sea ! Wonder what the issues are and whether anyone is working on this ?

  30. I’ve looked into wingsails quite a bit as an upgrade for more traditional sails on personal craft. I’m betting you’ve seen how hard it is to research this topic (need a better name for the tech to separate from other things).
    Have you looked at kite sails? The claim there is wind is more powerful at 200 ft than surface. Deep dive will uncover long YouTube video from startup that researched stationary kite sails for energy production. There is a company that has a system for large commercial ships and supposedly an electric boat company is going to use them.
    The story I want to hear is why commercial boat makers who announced 10 years ago to have wingsails on production models no longer discuss the topic. What happened? What did they learn?

  31. I expected SkySail to be mentioned too. Last time I saw something about it it looked like it has been fitted to some cargo ships and was being tested. It big advantage was easy retrofiting to an older ship and also that it completely stows away into the bow near the anchors.

  32. In 1870 a premium sailing vessel entered service, the ‘Cutty Sark’. The ‘Cutty Sark’ was 64.74 metres in length with a beam of 10.97 metres and a loaded displacement of 2 100 tonnes. She was able to carry, at best, 1 700 tonnes of cargo and to harness the energy in the wind the available spread of canvas was up to 2 976m2 which was tended by a crew of about 30 skilled men. The ratio between the sail area (SA) and the vessels displacement (D) determines how lively she was; ‘lively’ being nautical speak for ‘fast and manoeuvrable’. The carrying capacity of cargo ships is constrained in two ways, mass and volume which leads us to the ‘stowage factor’ of the cargo; the more mass on board the greater the displacement which in turn impacts the efficiency of the hull form and the sail area / displacement ratio. A vessel constrained by mass is said to be ‘down but not full’, while a vessel constrained by volume is said to be ‘full but not down. When in the tea trade, which the ‘Cutty Sark’ was designed and built for with fine lines (more nautical tech speak, so again no need to worry about it) she could carry around 600 tonnes of cargo at speeds of up to 17.5 knots dependent on the prevailing wind and had a typical China to UK time on passage of 120 days. The tea trade was very competitive so ‘time on passage’ was a large factor in securing the premium freight rate that made the ‘Cutty Sark’ cost effective. Rounding things out, her maximum available sail area gave circa 5m2 of canvas for every tonne of tea carried. As soon as the Suez Canal opened, which the ‘Cutty Sark’ was unable to sail through; she lost her advantage, raw speed, to the steam powered ships of that era who could beat her ‘time on passage’ by taking that short cut. Mechanically powered ships have improved in terms of efficiency, on a freight tonne mile basis, by at least one order of magnitude since then. After losing out to the coal burning, fire tube boiler, steam reciprocating mechanical ships of the late 19th century ‘Cutty Sark’ was relegated to the Australian wool trade, just about the bottom of the barrel in maritime terms and only one small step up from being a 'honey barge'.

  33. Perhaps ports should introduce a scheme where ships with "green credentials" can skip the queue at port. Then ship owners and manufacturers would have incentives as greener ships will turn around faster in port. It would also be helpful if merchant ships had to publish their emissions data publicly.

  34. I'm not so sure about that first ship to sail around the world. It may have been the first in recorded history, but the Polynesians, Vikings, or other prehistoric cultures may well have done it first.

  35. Looking at those vertical rotors I can't help but wonder why not vertical axis wind turbines with an aux electric motor on the main drive shaft.
    This would work straight into a headwind as well.
    Or add Sodium powered Jet engines.

  36. Great idea,but when the wind gets to blow the ship can’t go ,to much wind, and the ship has to heave to,,or it will rip the sticks completely out ,so they will still need an engine to continue, and tea clippers were de masted, or lost the steering control and lost the race to get home early.and I don’t think a container ships are designed to sail for thousands of miles with a wind list of 20/30% like a sailing ship,with the decks under water,Which you can see on historic sailing ship films ,filmed on the voyage ,. you will lose most of the top on deck cargo.and being becalmed on the sea for weeks just go’s to prove my point.looks good ,smells good,but the idea sinks,all though they will sail but not to make a big profit as was hoped if it was a big success we would see them all over the world.

  37. Currently, ships burn unrefined crude oil while out at sea, (this is very dirty) and when they approach land switch over to a cleaner diesel fuel blend which is much more expensive. With this knowledge it may be easier to simple retrofit ships with scrubber technology to clean up the bad emissions. It has taken years, but the US has installed catalytic converters on cars which got rid on 99% of the real bad emissions. When sailing in international waters, ships are free of laws from all countries so regulating the ships is going to be complicated, this may take a lot of international agreement. We have the technology now to run those ships cleaner, whether we should or not, and the cost benefit of all the implications is complicated. Historically, there have been several other ideas for pulling ships with wind power, a few years ago large remote controlled kites were tried. While they "worked," and reduced fuel you do not see them in use today. The reasons are likely comples. Even if you have something and it works, you also need to have the savings significant enough that it can cover all the training costs, manpower costs and other issues.

  38. 11:10 "…on ships that can run on carbon-neutral methanol".
    Hmm, I'm confused. The combustion of methanol, if I'm not mistaken, looks like:

    2 * (CH3OH) + 3 * (O2) -> 2 * (CO2) + 4 * (H2O)

    Which doesn't exactly look carbon-neutral, no?

  39. I like it that these sails push directly. Some other option would have been to place a kind of windmill which produces electricity which then powers the normal propellers. That would mean conversion losses although I don't know if it would be more than a few percent. But the fewer conversions, the better.
    I suddenly wonder if compressed air made with a special type ship wind mill (not too high, independent of wind direction, no effect itself on the movement of the ship) could be used for a kind of booster jet engine but again there would be losses.

  40. Give me a trimaran with plenty of deck space for solar compared to a similar weight monohull. Hell even without the solar panels they have better fuel economies. Then do what SpaceX does and run on synthetic CH4 with solar power just boosting the speed.

  41. Hello Matt! Long time fan here. Could you please add a post video screen to allow the time to like your videos? Your content is very interesting and because of that I, and probably many others who watch, am so attentive that we listen and watch all the way till the end. We need time to remember to like it. Lol! Keep up the great work! 😁

  42. i dont see how you can effectively add any type of sails to a container ship without cutting the number of containers by at least 50%. i notice that none of the drawing of shipping ships with sails looked like they actually had any goods loaded.

  43. Electric power could work if recharging while underway is used. Underwater power lines would have regularly spaced buoys floating at the surface connected which would charge small battery carrying ships. These ships could use drones to connect a power line between them and the electric cargo ship. The cargo ship would need much less battery.

  44. There is also nuclear powered ships. Samsung is developing a molten salt reactor for his bigger ships if I'm correct. Those ships could run for years without refueling. We know that it works because some warships and submarines already run with nuclear. And the other big advantage is carbon emmisions which are very low, so we can also imagin wind and nuclear power on the same boat.

  45. Great video man… Why not use those rottors to generate electricity and store them in batteries as well as drive the ships so the batteries can act or augment not just the drive shaft but also the generators as well?

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